“There are two philosophies relating to robotics and automation,” he explains. “The first, the American approach, is about reducing the number of employees in production plants to zero. History has shown, however, that this is impossible. The second, the Japanese way and the one we firmly believe in, asserts that robots are for people. Without people, robotics are basically useless, because once the automated solutions are in place, people are needed to identify and solve problems in production and other areas. Without employees, there would be none of the important activities such as quality improvement.”
Founded in 1985 by Mr. Pukal’s father, PROSTER has grown from a simple electrical company to become a specialist in electrical engineering with a focus on automation and robotics. With customers in a wide range of industries from food and automotives to electricity, construction and even the service sector, PROSTER develops complementary solutions and prototypes tailored to customers’ individual requirements.
“The base situation is when the entire production process is driven by manual labour,” Mr. Pukal says. “This is about the actions of human beings in standard processes. We concentrate on analyzing the process and building conclusions based on customers’ data, and then design solutions to meet their needs. We standardize industrial processes and replace human processes by robots and automation. This requires us to take a completely fresh view across the whole spectrum of the process, and consider how it can be faster, more efficient and of a higher quality. This is important; automation has to be connected with higher quality and profitability.”
Nevertheless, with PROSTER’s solutions the human element is not discarded. “If a company wants to develop, it doesn’t reduce staff numbers,” Mr. Pukal stresses. “There is always a lot of work to do around the process. Essentially, what we do creates more employment, not less. It is a snowball effect; efficiency in one area leads to efficiency in another. Nothing can be done without people.”
Without people, robotics are basically useless. Jack PukalCEO
Besides its work in Poland, PROSTER has also been awarded contracts in locations as diverse as Finland, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan and Mexico. It has 170 employees worldwide and achieves turnover in the region of nine million EUR annually.
“Our success is driven by our number one rule: product quality and customer satisfaction,” Mr. Pukal points out. “Each solution needs a specific approach and we understand the market and what works. We apply a high standard of ethics and aim to be fair, clear and honest in every aspect of our business.”
With staff located around the world, PROSTER offers a fast and efficient local service. As the son of the founder – his sister and other family members are also involved in the company – Mr. Pukal is personally motivated to develop and improve the firm and its service to its clients without taking unnecessary risks.
The global robotics industry is developing at an incredibly fast pace, providing a multitude of opportunities for firms such as PROSTER. “In Poland, there is a lot of pressure to do the same work with fewer workers,” Mr. Pukal admits. “Businesses are constantly endeavouring to maintain their production rates but, at the same time, reduce costs. Our aim is always to share our knowledge, and this includes the benefits workers bring through value-added activities. Poland really needs to change its attitude in this respect.”
An additional challenge is the war for talent in the robotics and automation sector, and PROSTER consults with the best; the company has built relationships and secured contracts with universities and technical schools in and around Kraków. “We have had to change our thinking in relation to talent, and our partnerships with technical specialists in local education establishments have resulted in some interesting solutions,” Mr. Pukal sums up.